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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 28, 2013 1:00am-2:00am PST

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a day of reflection and hope. pope benedict xvi planning to meet with the cardinals this morning. good morning and welcome to a special edition of "early start," i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. is it 4:00 a.m. in the east. welcome to cnn's live coverage of the pope's last day on the throne of st. peter. >> just ten hours from now pope benedict xvi becomes pope emeritus. he's not riding off into the sunset or helicopter just yet. at 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with the cardinalss who will pick his replacement. over 100 of them are expected to be on hand and the pontiff will spend a minute or two with each and every one of them. >> that should be fascinating.
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then cardinal seodano will spea and the pope will make a few spontaneous remarks before leaving his residence one last time. >> this truly is a historic day, not only for a vatican that finds itself at a crossroads but for 1.2 billion catholics awaiting a new spiritual leader and new direction. cnn's chief international correspondent christiane amanpour is live from rome this morning. good morning to you. >> good morning, zoraida and john. it is incredible with st. peter's behind us. i can't help but wonder what must be going through pope benedict's mind right now. we've talked about this decision, reported all the formality, the celebration, we heard him speak even yesterday in a very, very personal way about the decision he took, about the gravity of it, the
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novelty of it, about the joys he had in shepherding the roman catholic church over the past eight years and indeed about the sorrow and challenges he faced and the church faced as well. after all of that he's human. what must he be thinking to be the first pope in more than 600 years to step down. the first pope in more than 700 years to voluntarily step down. it's an amazing instance. we're joined here by john allen, our senior vatican analyst and correspondent for the national catholic reporter online. and what do you think is going and what will his meetings with the cardinals be like this morning? >> well, you know, benedict xvi was of course himself a member of the college of cardinals for 20 plus years. he feels a brotherly bond with these guys. if you like, these are his boys. and i think, therefore, this is going to be an intimate emotional farewell. because you remember when he said he'll be hidden from the world in many ways he's going to
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be hidden from this group, too. the last thing he wants is the impression that he's scheming behind the scenes to control who they elect as the next pope or whatever the next pope does. >> to that end, john and zoraida, of course we know that at about 4:00 a.m. eastern he's going to be -- rather at about 5:00 p.m. local, you get a little bit confused with the time zones, 5:00 p.m. local he'll be leaving st. peter's by helicopter and that will be not just the physical removal of himself from st. peter's and all the business of the vatican and choosing the next pope and being away from the conclave but to get away also while his permanent residence is going to be ready, which again will be here in the vatican. but in about an hour from now, as you said and as we've just been saying there will be this meeting. i mean, 100 plus cardinals shuffling up to meet the pope. what is it going to be like visually? what's it going to be like for
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them as they talk to him? any policy pronouncements athe this last minute or is it just friendly sort of memory lane as you were saying? >> this is not common time in parliament. they won't be debating policy issues this morning. what will happen, of course, the dean of the college who was benedict's first secretary of state, italian krd nal sodano will give a tribute to the pope, which i expect will be fairly emotional. benedict will speak off the cuff. his final farewell to this group that's meant so much to him over the years. then we'll see each cardinal processing up and having a moment of face time with the holy father. the drama is not going to be so much in what is said but instead, these normally aloof, reserved is princes of the church, i would imagine most of them will be feeling pretty raw emotions. you'll be seeing hearts on the sleeve in a way you rarely do
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from this group. >> john and zoraida, we're going to be talking later, interviewing cardinal timothy dolan of new york. there are several american cardinals here who will be voting. i spoke to cardinal makerik of washington, he's the retired archbishop of the d.c. diocese. he doesn't feel it's time yet for an american pope, nonetheless, the american cardinals are important. while all these challenges are out there for the roman catholic church, by a wide margin, american catholics approve of pope benedict xvi and what he's been doing as pope. they have various issues with perhaps how he handled the full sex abuse scandal amongst priests. they think by a margin of 58% that perhaps the next pope she encourage priests to be able to be married. in general, american catholics are fairly evenly dive sided as to whether to keep the church in
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its traditional and conservative roots or to move the church in a new direction. >> it will be interesting to see. >> absolutely right. i think one of the striking things about that study is that 74% of american catholics approve of benedict xvi but only 51% want to maintain his traditional qualities. there may be a quarter of the population that may not agree with the papacy but like the pope. >> with all of that, back to you. we'll have a full day of these last ten hours of the papal transition. >> thanks so much, christiane amanpour. americans will be well represented in rome during the conclave and before a lot of american cardinals. one of the most interesting things i feel today as the pope meets individually with each cardinal. one way or another he'll be face to face with the next pope. we don't know who that is yet but there will be a picture, a moment he'll share with the person who will ultimately replace him. >> will he have a last-minute
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influence with each one? it will be interesting to watch. >> here's a quick look at a step-by-step roll of what today will look like. 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with the cardinals already in rome. he'll make a few brief comments, nothing prepared. at 1:45 he departs the courtyard. he'll land in his temporary retirement home, castel gandolfo. these will be his last words spoken as pope in public. later, 2:00 eastern, 8:00 p.m. local time in italy, the pope will no longer be pope. he will be pope emeritus. the swiss guards will leave their post. the doors will close. >> do you believe it? >> a chapterer in history will be over. it is an historic day. you'll want to stay with cnn all
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day for extensive coverage of this. no one's seen this before. >> we've never had the -- the roman catholic church has never said there is no pope, right, if the pope dies and then the conclave meets. but this, unprecedented. it will be interesting and fascinating to watch. >> castel gandolfo, it's been a retret for popes for century. our becky anderson is there. will the pope arrive by helicopter later today and remain for about two months? tell us about the history of the place as well. >> there couldn't be a more wonderful setting to start your life of quiet contemplation, castel gandolfo just behind me. for some 400 years now, this has been the summer residence for a succession of popes, seeking solace from that stifling roman
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heat. it's very quiet. it's a very, very peaceful town. there are about 7,000 or 8,000 people who work here. many employed by the papacy. it hasn't always been quiet. many people who lived here during the second world war sought refuge at the castel during the allied bombing. i'm told that the papal bedroom actually turned into a maternity room where some 50 babies were delivered during that time. it sits on about 135 acres. there are beautiful ornamental gardens, as a small farm. john paul ii took wonderful walks here. benedict xvi i'm told is a much, much more private man, expected to spend a long time in his rooms here. he'll be here for about two months while they restore his home at the vatican where he will eventually spend the rest of his life. guys? >> all right, becky anderson, thank you very much. we'll check back in with you. here to help us walk through
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today is monsignor rick hi hillgartner. i wanted to walk through what is going to happen today when the pope meets with the cardinals. can you walk us through that? >> sure. >> yesterday in st. peter's square there were upwards of 50,000 people or more giving that public witness. this will be the most with his closest collaborators over the years. the pope's personal collaborators are the bishops throughout the world and in a particular way it's the cardinals standing at the heart of those, many of the cardinals of the people who workday to day in the vatican who work with the pope on a regular basis. who see him week in, week out. the rest of the cardinals spread throughout the world, still, the
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closest collaborators of the pope. he knows them all by name. so it will, i think we'll see kind of a departure of a friend. >> for this pope, especially, he in and away is a creature of the cardinals. he was dean of the college of cardinals. he must feel a particularly close kinship with them. he's been part of this for so many decades. >> absolutely. he himself had been named a cardinal by pope john paul. the other piece of this now is that he's named virtually half of the college of cardinals himself. >> right. >> so in addition to the fact that they're close collaborators and many personal friends, his own influence over the college of cardinals will be clear today, even if he's not doing campaigning or politicking in any real way. it's still the kinship that's there is very evident. >> john allen just a little while ago called it a brotherly bond. these are his boys. as we talk about that influence, a lot of people are wondering will he have any influence over who the next pope will be?
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perhaps more so than we think. perhaps he's elevated one of those to cardinal, right? what do you think is going to happen, if you could take an insider view? do you think he'll have that influence? >> certainly. i think because of the unprecedented nature of the transition with his resignation rather than the death of the pope, there will clearly be, even if it's not intended and even if he doesn't intend it, there will certainly be an eye on him as the cardinals go into the conclave in the coming days. he himself in his resignation has indicated in a very general sense that he thinks there are significant issues facing the church and feels the need to turn leadership over to someone who can, with more stamina and strength, handle those things. he sets the tone simply in saying there are significant things for the church to deal with. >> you mentioned age. this was the oldest pope ever elected at the age of 78. do you think now that the
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cardinals will be looking at a younger candidate, perhaps? >> well, pope john paul was 58 when he was elected. and that would have been fairly young by modern standards and his pontificate lasted more than 27 years. so it's difficult to know whether they would go that young and look at the possibility of a pontificate that lasts that long. the other question, suddenly has pope benedict started a new precedent that says no matter how old you are when elected there's the possibility you can step down when you feel you no longer could handle the office. >> monsignor, we'd like to keep you around all morning long. >> happy to be here. coming up at 10:00, a special on the pope's last day, anchored by erin burnett and chris cuomo here in new york. this will be broadcast on cnni. this is history. you'll want to stay all day.
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back to rome for live coverage of pope benedict's last day. and forced spending cuts, it appears just about everyone in washington believes this ax will drop. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare
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around forced spending cuts would have, president obama softened his tone wednesday night in a speech to top business executives. >> this is not a cliff, but it is a tumble downward. you know, it's conceivable in the first week, the first two weeks, the first three weeks, the first month, a lot of people may not notice the full impact of this sequester. but this is going to be a big hit on the economy. >> reporter: republicans have said these predictions are nothing but scare tactics. >> it's time they get off the campaign trail and started working with us to govern or change. >> reporter: the president reiterated the charge of partisanship ahead of an 11th hour meeting on friday with congressional leaders. >> the issue is political. and the question is whether or not we are doing to see a willingness on the part of all parties to compromise in a meaningful way. >> reporter: all the while, the
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obama white house is engaged in a war of words with legendary "washington post" reporter bob woodward over the origin of the forced spending cuts. in a controversial op-ed last week, woodward wrote the final deal reached between vice president biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell in 2011 included an agreement there would be no tax increases in the sequester. woodward criticized the president's handling of negotiations, writing when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goalposts. on cnn's "situation room" wednesday, woodward claimed he received a veiled threat in an e-mail from a senior white house aide. >> it was said very clearly you will regret doing this. >> who sent that e-mail to you? >> i'm not going to say. >> was it a senior person. >> a very senior person. just as -- it makes me very uncomfortable to have the white
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house telling reporters you're going to regret doing something that you believe in. >> reporter: brianna keilar, cnn, the white house. >> the white house responded to bob woodward's charge saying, quote, no threat was intended and the e-mail suggested mr. woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. >> 20 minutes after the hour. right now, tens of millions of dollars, that's how much a proposed aid package to the syrian opposition is said to be worth. secretary of state john kerry is expected to announce the details in rome when he meets with them. the administration has been considering providing nonlethal military equipment like night vision goggles and body armor as well as some military training. unclear what ends up in the final deal. so soon this will be scribbled on your money. that's a signature of new treasury secretary jack lew. he got a green light from the senate yesterday, john firmed by
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a 70-26 vote. one of lew's first task may be changing his signature. the president busted his chops about it when he nominated him. that's really tough. it's like doodling. wall street coming off a strong day. positive remarks from federal reserve chairman ben bernanke along with good housing numbers lifted investors out of a short slam. the dow jones gained 0.8% to close at 13,900 and the s&p increased about 0.6%. the 30-second sound wave was a low frequency that we can't hear but sensors from greenland to antarctica picked it up. the blast released the energy of 30 hiroshima sized nuclear bombs. they now think the meteor was 56
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feet across and was zooming toward earth at 40,000 miles per hour. >> the more we learn about this, the more epic and the more disturbing in some ways it is. >> i just wonder, i remember when we were talking to bill nye the science guy, how did we not know that was hurling toward russia? >> he said consider it a warning, folks. >> i'm warned. pope benedict xvi's last hours in charge. what is next for the catholic church? we'll ask a cnn contributor who's also a priest for his take. we'll also break down what to expect from the conclave. [ tylenol bottle ] nyquil what are you doing?
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welcome back to a special edition of "early start."
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we have live pictures from rome as we mark a historic moment, pope benedict xvi just hours before retirement and minutes away from meeting with the cardinals who will choose his successor. >> today is such a significant day in the catholic church. 2:00 p.m. eastern time, pope benedict xvi will be the first pope in 600 years to walk away from the job, to help us break down what will happen then in the days and weeks ahead, i want to talk to cnn contributor, father edward beck. nice to see you. >> nice to be here. >> let me talk about retirement for a pope. it's unprecedented unless you've been alive for 00 years, which no one has. what do you think happens for pope benedict xvi. >> i would take him at a word that he will do a lot of reading, praying, studying. i don't think you'll see much of him. that residence that is being prepared for him has beautiful private gardens and i think he'll retreat from the world as he said he's going to. >> he's a scholar, he's an educator, he loves to research
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and write. we understand he's been working on an encyclical. >> it's on faith, hope and love are extolled around the world for one of his greatest contributions. he will continue to write, i'm sure but i doubt you'll see any of that published in his lifetime. >> because? >> because it will be seen as placing him against the present pope. what if he thinks something that maybe the present pope did not agree with, will there, a contest there? i think you'll see him keep a low profile, no publications but he will continue to write and maybe posthumously we'll see some of those writings. >> one of the things we look forward to during retirement is doing those things we didn't get to do while we were working. do you think he'll engage in any hobbies? >> he'll be taking this helicopter from the vatican to castel gandolfo. now, the catholic news agency
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reports that he is a pilot. he has a small craft pilots license and previously he's flown the helicopter himself from the vatican to castel gandolfo. can you picture the image if we now see pope benedict piloting his own helicopter to castel gandolfo. i don't think that will happen but i find it an interesting tidbit about this pope. it's not what you would imagine, this shy, meek, man piloting a helicopter but reports say that's what he does. >> one of those things to ponder as we look forward to this unprecedented retirement, father. you're about to witness history. catholic cardinals from all over the world each getting a moment with pope benedict, a private moment, right before his retirement. we'll take you live to rome for this undecember presented event. is the best. i don't have to leave my desk and get up and go to the post office anymore. [ male announcer ] with you can print real u.s. postage for all your letters and packages.
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in just over nine hours, pope benedict xvi will no longer be pope. he'll be meeting one by one.cardinals who will ultimately choose his successor. successor probably amongst those cardinals. welcome back to a special edition of "early start." we're happy you're with us this morning. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. it is 30 minutes past 4:00 in the east. welcome back to cnn's live coverage of the pope's final hours of the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion catholics. pope benedict xvi becomes pope emeritus at 2:00 eastern time, this afternoon, that's when he begins a new chapter, retirement. there's still one final day of unfinished business. 5:00 a.m. eastern, just half an hour from now, pope meets with the cardinals who face the daunting task of choosing his successor. over 100 of them are expected to be on hand. the vatican says the pontiff will spend a minute or two with
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each one of them one-on-one. >> then cardinal angelo sodano is scheduled to deliver a brief statement. he's the dean of the college of cardinals. that's a post pope benedict xvi once held. then pope benedict xvi is expected to make a few spontaneous remarks and about 10:45 eastern time he'll leave his papal residence one last time. >> we're witnessing a sitting pope resigning, something no living human has ever witnessed. something no living human's great great great grandfather has ever witnessed either. pope benedict xvi is living behind a vatican embroiled in scandal as you well know. christiane amanpour is live from rome this morning. good morning to you. the big question is, will the church remain as conservative as it is now? >> that really is the multimillion dollar question.
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the likelihood is yes to be very frank. but i'm smiling because the way you put it is absolutely true. these are unchartered waters. no one knows what it is like to have a pope abdicate. as you say, it's more than six or seven centuries since that last happened. what are we going to be looking for in the future? how will the direction of the church go most likely in a similar direction although a lot of people who i'm talking to, including cardinals and priests and the others say there does need to be a sense of some kind of reform to deal with the very serious issues of governability, whether it's about putting to rest and really ending all the unpinnished business over the priest sex abuse scandals, whether it's the allegations of financial msismanagement. i'm johned by john allen, our senior vatican analyst who's been watching this for years, was with me back in 2005, of course, as cnn really watched
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and were here, vigil over the death of the previous pope and the election of pope benedict xvi. his cardinals, 67 of whom he has elevated. give us a breakdown of who he's meeting and who amongst those will be electing the next pope. >> first of all -- i'll get to that in a minute. you'll remember in 2005 we thought we were privileged to be witnesses for to history for something we hadn't seen in 27 years, the election of a pope. there are no youtube clips of celestine v. the vatican has told us they're not exactly sure. not every cardinal has informed them of his travel plans. in that group will not be merely
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cardinals under 80 who will be casting ballots to elect the next pope but a number of over 80 cardinals. some of the electors are still getting into rome this morning. others are waiting to see when the date of the conclave is trying to be set because they're trying to take care of some business at home. >> do you think those who are here or in contact with each other have been talking about the conclave, discussing already amongst them service how it will unfold, who they might choose, already making alliances or is that a no-no at this point? >> i would say those conversations are going on but they are deliberately discreet. it is seen in politic to discuss the next papacy when the current one hasn't ended. the papacy is the most visible position of religious leadership on the planet. it has consequences well beyond the borders of the catholic church. this is the single most
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important thing a cardinal will do in his life. they're quieting discussing it with other. >> the intricate details of 1.2 billion lives, he pronounces on issues such as medicine, stem cell research, ethics, all of that, euthanasia. give us a sense of why this matters. >> i have interviewed former -- in eastern europe. john paul ii had a massive impact on their lives principally putting them out of work because of his role in inspiring the solidarity movement in poland and setting the dominos in motion that led to the collapse of communism. or people could think about the
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marcos regime. the papacy matters if you're catholic or not. and reaction to the papacy illustrates that. whenever there is a transition in this job, the whole world weighs in on which way the catholic church ought to go. >> as i said, has a direct influence on the daily lives of so many people. and here's the thing. this is, as we know, not an election cycle but could the abdiication, the resignation of pope benedict xvi set in motion a trend? could we see down the road another such resignation rather than waiting for the death of a pope? >> well, the official line from the vatican of course is this does not set a precedent. the pope is the supreme authority in the church. in effect no one can tell him what to do. when there is a new pope it will be his free decision whether to step down or not. obviously once you break seven
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centuries of tradition and make a voluntary decision to step down, it makes it easier for the next guy to make that decision. when we see the next pope beginning age and become more frail, a drum beat will begin of when is this guy going to step aside? >> so interesting. back to you, zoraida and john. we'll be here when the pope leaves the vatican and what his papacy officially ends at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> it is truly a day like none of us have ever seen, one worth watching closely. christiane, our thanks to you. here's a look at his unprecedented final day as holy father. at 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with cardinals. he is expected to greet each cardinal and make a few brief comments to each but nothing prepared. at 10:45 eastern, he leaves and
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will go to castel gandolfo. he'll greet the crowd from his window at 11:30 eastern time. these will be his last words spoken as pope in public. then at around 2:00 eastern time, 8:00 p.m. in italy, the pope will no longer be pope. the swiss guards will leave their posts. the doors of the palotso will close. what is the atmosphere in st. peters square right now? >> i think it's like any normal tourist day here at st. peter's. the vatican is going nothing to encourage the crowds to come out today. they're doing things to discourage them. the television screens are
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covered up. it's unlikely anybody is going to be able to watch the last few moments as the pope is speaking with the cardinals. and secondly, they're taking down the crowd control barriers that were put up yesterday when there were tons of thousands of people out here. this is really not a very public day. we're going to see the pope, of course, because vatican tv is going to be broadcasting but in fact, those moments when we see the pope are going to be behind closed doors when he's meeting with the cardinals and on his way to castel gandolfo. >> i expect there are a lot of disappointed people. >> well, i'm not sure. you know, i don't think that a lot of people have come to this event. zoraida, quite honestly, this is different than a normal papal transition. you have tens and hundreds of thousands of people coming to mourn a dead pope. this time around there is no dead pope to mourn. even the public occasions we've seen have been somewhat constructed around this very particular kind of event.
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whereas the last time i covered a papal transition eight years ago, in fact there were hundreds of thousands of people who came on pilgrimages here, people expressly came to see the dead pope and then the act of mourning. it's quite a different atmosphere than the previous case. >> jim bitterman, live in st. peter's square, thank you. the public will be able to get a brief glimpse of the pope later today near the picturesque castel gandolfo, located 15 miles southeast of rome. the small fortress castle has been a retreat for popes for centuries. becky anderson is there. he'll arrive there today and will remain there for about two months. explain the rich history of this location. >> reporter: final preparations being made here at castel gandolfo for what is an honored guest later on this afternoon. expect bells, as benedict xvi,
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his holiness as he will be called from now on in arrives here in this little town. it is a spectacular setting here over lake albano. a perfect place to start over quiet contemplation. it's been the summer residence for the succession of popes for some 400 years to get out of the heat of the roman summer. inside the cast exl, beautiful ornamental gardens, a small farm which services the vatican. 135 acres and some beautiful, beautiful rooms where pope benedict will spend the next two months while a residence for him at the vatican is being redecorated. it is a really exciting day here for the people of the diocese. some 7,000 expected here to see benedict xvi at the window just over my shoulder here at 5:30
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local time. he'll be arriving by helicopter at 5:15. it will be a brief salute and possibly the last words we'll ever hear from the pope. and then, at 8:00 local time, the door behind me will slam shut and the swiss guard, the papal body guards for centuries will abandon their position and benedict xvi will start his new life. john? >> becky anderson, live this morning at castel gandolfo. bracing for history that will take place just a few hours from now. our thanks to becky. >> for more reaction from catholics around the world let's go to cnn's charles hodson. 1.2 billion catholics around the world. how are folks reacting there? >> i think the people here and at roman catholic places of worship all the way around the world will be praying not only for benedict xvi as he requested of his audience yesterday but also i think for those who will be electing his successor and
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perhaps what could be a new era for the roman catholic church. it's unclear at this point -- it's clearly a punctuation mark. is it a period, the end of a paragraph or the end of a new chapter? this is all very hard to see. i think roman catholics willing praying for guidance, praying very much for the right person to be found at this particular point. in terms of pope benedict xvi, i think mixed feelings. it's a pontificate which has been tinged with scandal and abuse, the resignation of o'brien. on the other hand, i think people will look back at benedict xvi as being a great theologian and man of spirituality and who carried on his predecessor, john paul ii.
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back to you. >> we know this particular pope was a scholar and a lot of people are questioning whether or not there will be a more progressive pope going forward. have you heard any talk about that? >> well, i think that clearly being scholarly is important, being pastoral, possibly rather more important. benedict xvi had a pastoral heart but it wasn't always on display. in terms of whether we'll have a big reformer, i would be quite cautious on that. we'll have to wait and see what the cardinals decide. back to you. >> charles hodson, thank you very much. appreciate it. we will talk to monsignor hilgartner, coming up. and a cnn special on the pope's last day, anchored by erin burnett and quis cuomo in new york and christiane amanpour in rome.
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it will be simulcast on cnni. the pope will begin meeting with the cardinals who must choose his successor. history unfolding as we speak at the vatican as pope benedict xvi prepares to step down, leaving the throne of st. peter vacant. good morning, everyone, thanks for joining us for cnn's special live coverage of the pope's last day. i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. we'd like to welcome our viewers from around the world on cnn international. in just over nine hours, pope benedict xvi's eight-year run comes to an end and the 85-year-old pontiff begins a new chapterer in life, it's called retirement. it is unprecedented. before pope benedict xvi departs
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he has unfinished business. at 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with dozens of cardinals who have made their way to rome to pick his replacement. over 100 of them are expected to be on hand. >> cardinal angelo sodano is scheduled to deliver a brief speech. and finally, pope benedict is expected to make a few final spontaneous remarks before leaving the papal residence one last time. he will depart around 10:45 eastern. we are witnessing history. no one alive has ever seen a sitting pope step down. there were a lot of questions anyway about the future of the catholic church with the sex scandals erupting, financial issues. cnn's chief international correspondent christiane amanpour is live from rome this morning where it's all happening. good morning, christiane. >> reporter: good morning, john and zoraida. we are indeed waiting for this
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meeting. it will be personal, really. he made his big public speech yesterday and today he's going to be spending as you say, a little bit of time with each of the cardinals who are here right now. they're not all here. the 115 who will when the conclave convenes elect the next pope are not all here and will not uhl be at that meeting today. however, many of those who are and we are in a busy location right now, many of those who are will and have been elevated to their cardinal position by this pope, benedict xvi. we're waiting to for that. he'll have time with each and every one of them. that's bound to take some period of time. the next event of the day is the farewell, really, the physical view of him leaving not just the papacy but the seat of the power of the pontiff. and that is st. peter's square, the vatican. he'll be going to castel gandolfo at 5:00 p.m. local and about three hours after that,
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officially his papacy ends and the next procedure starts to elect the next pope. john? >> describe the feeling for us today inside rome. is it still more of this feeling of a departure, a validiction or are we moving on to what happens next? >> it is still a departure and the papers are full of yesterday's pictures. today's daily papers, all the pictures that emerged this morning are the pictures of the pope with his arms outstretched, having made that final farewell, having talked about the joys that he had in his eight years of being pope and also the challenges. he talked about times that were, quote, far from easy. he talked about the ship of the papacy having been buffeted on choppy, stormy waters. he said yesterday that he knew god would not allow the roman catholic church to sink. i think that's important. he is the faith leader of the biggest flock in the world. that's 1.2 billion people.
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and what the people says and does and how he conducts himself and how he conducts the vatican and the papacy affects not just the world's roman catholics but so many others around the world. what he says touches muslims, it touches jews, people even in the laity. people from all over the world, top world leaders come here to have his benediction or seek his advice or at least have a photo op with him. it's an important, important position. despite all the challenges by a majority american catholics and catholics around the world approve of the job this pope has done, approve of benedict xvi. many would like to see a slightly different direction in some aspects going forward but many are still really rooted and anchored in the traditions of their roman catholic faith. john and zoraida, back to you. >> is there a lot of talk about
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who will be selected next? have there been names that have been standouts while you've been there? >> yes, there are. this is a human moment. one pope is leaving. we keep saying it but it's important to remember, he's had several weeks now, he's announced his stepping down. so clearly this idea of selecting the next pope is foremost in many catholic's minds and foremost i would say perhaps discreetly because it's probably seen as not quite done to talk about the next papacy while this pope is still sitting on the throne of st. peter's. however, people are interested in who will be the next pope. and names have come to the fore. there are american cardinals here. people have talked about whether this would be a first opportunity to have an american pope. i don't think that's going to happen. all the people who i've talked to have said it's not really time and i even spoke to a very senior american cardinal, archbishop emeritus makerik.
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. there are 11 american electors in this conclave. people are talking about popes from brazil, argentina, certainly cardinals who are up on the sweepstakes here from italy. there are several names that have been put about. again, will there be a pope out of europe? will there be a pope from the developing world, africa or asia? probably unlikely although that is where the church is growing the fastest right now. many names out there. we still really don't know. there really isn't a clear front-runner. >> in 2005 we were talking about having a black pope or having a latino pope. and at the end of the day we will wait sean we will see. christiane amanpour we appreciate it. we'll check in with you again. 51 minutes past the hour. let's walk you through step by step pope benedict's historic unprecedented day as holy father. in just a few minutes he meets
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with cardinals already in rome. he's expected to meet with each cardinal. 10:45 the pope departs in a helicopter. 10 minutes later he'll land at castel gandolfo. he greets the crowd from his window at 11:30 eastern time. these will be his last words spoken as pope in a public setting. and then at 2:00 eastern, 8:00 p.m. local time, the pope will no longer be pope. swiss guards will abandon their posts. the doors of the palotso will close. >> with us today, monsignor
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hilgartner. in just a few minutes the pope will immediate the cardinals who are in rome. they'll get a private audience of one to two minutes. we will see them meet with him one by one. describe that to me. >> i think that will be really personal and rather intimate in terms of their friendship with pope benedict. he's named and appointed more than half of them as cardinals. 67 of the current 117 cardinals eligible to vote were appointed by pope benedict as cardinals. of the 50 appointed prior, many of them were his collaborators and fellow workers with him when he himself was a cardinal. this will be his farewell to close friends. because we expect that pope benedict will really move into a reclusive kind of private role, this may be the last time the cardinals themselves see him. >> it is one of the first times this week that we will be seeing
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all the cardinals together. does that mean this is the beginning of the politicking? >> probably. i think today will be more focused on pope benedict and one of the things we really don't know is now people are going to respond. i don't think the cardinals themselves know how they'll respond emotionally and personally, because this is such an unprecedented moment as we keep saying. we really don't know what the mood will really be like. yesterday there was a sense of appreciation and jubilation that was a little bit reserved in part because that's what pope benedict brings forth. but in part because there is just this kind of uneasiness about the church treading into unchartered waters. >> what do we do? no one knows how to behave. >> exactly. the cardinals are, for the large part, already in rome. they're not officially summoned yet. only tomorrow will there be the official announcement, the protocol piece, that official step of calling the cardinals,
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summoning them into conclave and so in the next couple of days we'll see what they call the general congregations begin when they start their regular meetings that will lead up to the conclave itself. >> one of the interesting things i find about what's going on in vatican city right now, there are two groups of cardinals, the cardinal electors but then there are the older cardinals, the more senior cardinals who will be there to say good-bye. they are part of the process until the conclave begins. in some ways this is their time. they need to do this time to do whatever influencing they can do. >> absolutely. they all would be keenly aware of it. some of them will be poised to give their input, give their influence. over the coming days when the general congregation meets, that's when the cardinals have an opportunity to give input about what they think the issues facing the church are. they'll be looking at the state of the church and the various parts of the world. and that's the only moment that the cardinals over 80, many of
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whom are very, very active, will have a chance to give input and participate. >> i want to shift the focus from what's happening in rome to here in the united states. as american catholics watch what's going on there, what she enthusiasm look for? >> the piece, looking at the footage today they'll be able to spot the american cardinals. there are 11 who are electors, eligible to vote and a number of other cardinals from the united states who are likely to be present. so as we start to see footage, i think people will be looking for the faces they recognize. and i think the bigger picture as we look at what's coming in the conclave, we have a tendency to only understand our own limited perspective and it would be easy to have that american lens and say these are the issues facing the church. the church in other parts of the world in south america, the church in africa, the church in parts of asia face a very different perspective and i think what we'll see over the coming days is really a chance to kind of expand our own vision
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as american catholics to say here's what it's like to be a catholic in another part of the world where the issues are very different. >> do you think the focus there is on those issues that are of concern to americans? >> some of them are. i think certainly the abuse crisis that's faced the church over the last at least decade, though it stretches back decades, is something that the church in other parts of the world are starting to realize. it's not something that's been limited to the united states. we talk about issues of things like religious liberty in the united states with a specific kind of focus, the way the american bishops are in dialogue and in conversation with the administration of the united states. when you look at a question like religious liberty in another part of the world, it really has to do with can a person even identify themselves as a christian or a catholic and can they attend church without risking their life. >> monsignor, thank you for being with us this morning. we will join you again